Lessons Learned from Building an Interdisciplinary Scientific Community in the Online Sphere

The Microbiology of the Built Environment Network (http://microBE.net – this website) has made it into the community page at PLoS Biology! Our article has been in the works for some time, and we’re now pleased to announce its official publication: Bik HM, Coil DA, Eisen JA (2014) microBEnet: Lessons Learned from Building an Interdisciplinary Scientific Community …

Project MERCCURI (#spacemicrobes) set to launch this Sunday morning

After over a year of collecting and screening hundreds of samples from the built environment we have just sent our collection of 48 “finalists” to Florida for the upcoming launch.  Samples have come from all over the country including NFL/NBA/MBL games, sites of historic interest (e.g. the Liberty Bell), and a number of schools.  These …

Not-So-Clean Rooms

In researching previous studies conducted on microbes in space for Project MERCURRI, I ran across an interesting microbiology diversity study done on European Spacecraft-Associated (ESA) clean rooms in the Herschel Space Observatory. Historically, clean rooms are supposedly “sterile” environments that are used for the building and maintenance of spacecrafts, as directed by the UN’s Outer Space planetary …

Project MERCCURI microbe sampling at San Antonio Spurs game

So last night was the first large-scale public microbial sampling event for project MERCCURI (a.k.a. Microbes in Spaaaace!).   Around 330 teachers from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) conference bought tickets to the game.  After the game many of them came down on the court to take photos, shoot baskets and sample the microbes on …

Project MERCCURI Presentation at NSTA2013

Today our Project MERCCURI team gave a presentation at the National Science Teacher Association (NSTA) meeting in San Antonio.   We talked mostly about the project, but also about ways that teachers could incorporate microbiology of the built environment in their classrooms.  There’s a lot of interest in taking the kinds of work being done in …